• Factbox: Jordan's Austerity Protests

    Jordan, a key Western ally and major recipient of US aid, has recently experienced its largest protests since 2012. The ongoing protests began in May as a direct response to the new tax bill backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which increases tax brackets, widens the tax base, and penalizes tax evaders. The IMF is pushing Jordan to enact austerity measures and address its ongoing economic crisis in an effort to lower public debt and reduce public sector financing needs. Jordan faces ongoing challenges in securing energy supply and foreign investment, requiring significant IMF assistance since the Arab Spring.

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  • Jordan Caught Between Trump and a Hard Place

    US president’s Jerusalem decision puts Amman in a bind

    Jordan has been left with no choice but to oppose US President Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because the issue impacts the kingdom’s security and politics.

    As Jordanian King Abdullah II focuses more attention on Jerusalem and the unresolved question of Palestinian statehood, Jordan finds itself torn between one regional axis led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and another led by Turkey and Qatar.

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  • Arab Leaders Try to Get Trump’s Attention

    Eager to unlock the door to US-Arab cooperation on tackling regional issues following decades of disappointment with Washington’s lack of understanding of their concerns, three Arab leaders are engaging US President Donald Trump’s new administration over the next month.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met Trump at the White House on April 3; Jordan’s King Abdullah II will be in Washington on April 5; and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to follow later this month or in May. In their meetings, these leaders hope to discuss a number of issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the civil war in Libya, and the threat posed by global terrorist organizations.

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  • Jordan’s Six Challenges at the Arab League Summit

    On March 29, Jordan will host the Arab League summit amid chaos across the Middle East.  There is speculation that Russia and Egypt are pressing the Arab League to invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the summit in light of reports that Syrian military officers have visited Jordan and Egypt over the past few weeks. Assad’s presence at the summit could bring about a sea change in Syria’s relationship with a host of other Arab states. 

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  • Shaffer in the Hill: Israel-Jordan Gas Trade Portends Brighter Future in Middle East

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  • Jordan Steps Up its War on ISIS in Syria

    On February 5, Jordan launched airstrikes in southern Syria, directed at the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jaysh Khalid bin Al Waleed. Occurring shortly after King Abdullah II’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in late January and with US President Donald Trump in Washington at the beginning of February, Jordan’s stepped-up action in Syria underscores Amman’s continued pivot toward Russia and commitment to continuing coordination with Moscow in Syria. At the same time, the Hashemite kingdom is signaling to the Trump administration that it will not permit terrorists from Syria to enter Jordan. This is in...
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  • Energizing Ties in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Offshore natural gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have created critical opportunities for cooperation among countries in the region, especially Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey.

    Of these five countries, Cyprus and Israel have discovered more gas than either can consume over the next thirty years. Turkey and Jordan have no indigenous gas and need to import all of their needs, and while Egypt used to be a net gas exporter, it can no longer meet its own needs.

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  • Jordan Experiment Spurs Jobs for Refugees

    There is little beyond some roads, power lines and a handful of sand-blown warehouses to suggest that this patch of barren land in Jordan is the center of one of the most important economic experiments in the world today. Most of the 8 square miles (21 sq km) of the King Hussein Bin Talal Development Area remain desert.
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  • IRI Poll Highlights Economic and Governance Challenges in Jordan

    The results of a new comprehensive public opinion survey released by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Jordan show an increasing sense of dissatisfaction among citizens. Jordan, a Sunni Muslim-majority constitutional monarchy wedged between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the West Bank is a key strategic ally of the United States and a recipient of a tremendous amount of American aid. The resource-deprived Kingdom plays an important stabilizing role in the region and is also a vital partner in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and other extremist groups working to establish power and influence throughout the Levant.
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  • Urban Development Seen as Critical to Countering Violent Extremism

    Food, water, and energy insecurity, as well as economic and social inequality, form a “nexus” of issues that create an environment that breeds violent extremism, according to a senior US State Department official.

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